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As if it were not enough humiliation that Sherman had made a triumphful procession through the State of Georgia, the New York Times expresses its contemptuous opinion of the people thereof for permitting him to do it. That paper says that the most remarkable and significant revelation made by Sherman's march through Georgia was not, perhaps, the internal weakness of the Confederacy; but the entire absence of desperation on the part of that portion of the population which remains at home. "If," says the Times, "the war were felt by them to be a National war, in the sense in which this phrase is ordinarily understood, a war in which everything that men hold dear was at stake, and in which death was preferable to submission, it is impossible to believe that their resistance to Sherman's progress would have been so feeble. The proclamations of the leaders, of the Governor and Generals, of the Senators and Congressmen, and the articles in the newspapers, were couched in terms worthy of the occasion. They were just such as ought to have been issued by revolutionary chiefs to followers who were really and terribly in earnest. They called on the Georgians to 'come in squads or come singly,' to 'bring such weapons as they could find,' to 'rise to a man in the invader's path,' to 'bushwhack him without mercy.'--The planters were to shoot at him from behind fences; the negroes to be employed in cutting down trees across the road and breaking down bridges; and last, and greatest sacrifice of all, they were to lay waste everything before him, to drive off the cattle and horses, and burn and destroy what they could not convey away. "Nor were these appeals extravagant. Efforts as heroic as these here called for have been made in various ages by the people, whom the appearance of an invader had wrought up to the highest pitch of patriotic excitement. Almost in our own day, both the Russians and Tyrolese have opposed just such obstacles to the progress of French armies of invasion, as the Georgians were asked to oppose to that of Sherman. They either rose en masse in their front, 'bushwhacked' them along every mile of the road, from behind every rock and tree and fence, or else converted their line of march into a howling waste, and left them no better fruits of victory than desolated fields and charred ruins. "In Georgia, on the contrary, it appears well ascertained that the great majority of the inhabitants staid quietly at home, and awaited the invader's approach in respectable quiet. So far from destroying their property in order to deprive him of the means of subsistence, they did not even drive off their mules, horses or cattle, though this would have been one of the easiest and most obvious modes of damaging him. In fact, it is hard to see that any Georgian farmers, except those who joined the militia, made the smallest personal sacrifice in aid of the Confederacy, at the most important juncture in its history, and when they were most earnestly and solemnly entreated to make every sacrifice, by the men who are supposed to have, and who ought to have, if the concern were a sound one, their fullest confidence. "There is only one interpretation that can be put on this extraordinary apathy, and that is, that confidence in the success of the rebellion no longer exists anywhere outside of the official class and the army, if it exist there. The Governors of States who write the flaming appeals whenever our raiders make their appearance, are, of course, as members of the oligarchy, closely allied in sentiment, as well as in interest, with the Confederate leaders; but it appears, of late, plain that the farmers who have so far escaped the net of the conscription, either have grown tired of the contest or despair of success, and that their great aim now is not to serve the rebellion, but to avoid sharing its fortunes." If all that were true,--and we leave it to the fellow-citizens of those heroic Georgia troops who have illustrated so many battle-fields to hurl back the accusation,--Lincoln has stepped in to supply to all the people of this country a motive of "desperation" which cannot fail to arouse the most sluggish and exasperate the most pacific. If they have not believed their own orators, their own newspapers, and their own governors, perhaps they will believe him when he tells them that slavery is abolished, and that they can only be allowed to approach his footstool as suppliants suing for mercy. If, after all this, they fall behind Russians, Tyrolese, and every other invaded nation of ancient and modern times, and look passively on the progress through their country of a conquering army, we shall concede that the Times knows them better than we do, and that provincial vassalage to a Yankee despotism would be no degradation.
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